Sian Hughes Wins Prestigious High Street by Design Award

Birmingham based Sian Hughes has scooped a prestigious jewellery design Award, sponsored by high street jewellery retailer F. Hinds and International Jewellery London (IJL). Sian, who operates from her workshop in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter, won the ‘Newly Established Designer Category’ of the ‘High Street by Design’ competition with her Folded Heart Collection.

The F. Hinds/IJL High Street By Design Competition 2010/2011 was launched last year to assist two jewellery designers through the whole process from original concept and creating a design to be manufactured in volume, through packaging, promotion and launch to the sale of their finished jewellery pieces in F. Hinds’ 110 stores across England & Wales and its website.

After achieving a Degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing at Birmingham’s School of Jewellery, Sian went on to complete a six month residency at Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton and now works in a studio in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Speaking to The Birmingham Assay Office, where her work is tested and hallmarked, Sian said, “I am thrilled to have won ‘The High Street by Design’ competition by F Hinds and International Jewellery London (IJL). My Folded Heart Collection wowed the judges with its simple design. I was inspired by my love of creating paper structures and wanted to bring a fresh approach to the symbolic heart motif. The experience I have gained working with a major high street retailer has been a priceless and totally unique experience, a big ‘thank you’ to F Hinds and IJL!

The judging panel included Andrew Hinds – F. Hinds, Director and Gold Buyer; Bob Morrish – R. E. Morrish jewellery manufacturer, Sarah Jordan – Award Winning Jewellery Designer; Sam Willoughby – IJL Event Co-Director and a consumer representative. Since winning the competition everyone on the panel, plus many more behind the scenes at F. Hinds, have been involved with helping Sian get their designs into F. Hinds 110 stores.

“The objective of this competition was to open up the route to the high street,” said Andrew Hinds, “which can appear to be strewn with challenges or even a complete mystery. Our aspiration was to give the winners an in-depth experience of all the steps from sketch to the final sale. We have promoted the winning pieces in all our stores and online, and every piece sold is individually numbered. We also have plans to see how we can work with the Sian in the future.”

“When I was learning all the techniques and skills I needed for jewellery manufacture, I was able to sit alongside craftsmen and women and learn from them,” said Bob Morrish, Birmingham based jewellery manufacturer. “I aimed to replicate that 1:1 experience for Sian as it seems to have disappeared now that apprenticeships are a thing of the past.”

Sian, along with Rosie Velk the Student Designer category winner, will be speaking at the High Street By Design seminar at IJL on Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 10.00am and the winning designs can be seen in the seating area within the Design Gallery.

Sian exhibited for the first time on her own at International Jewellery London on stand number B16.

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